Item 7.3 - Attachment 3

Attachment C - Draft Better Neighbourhood Program Guidelines



Report to Council 28 March 2011 Centres Review


Better Neighbourhood Program Guidelines


Adopted by Council:

Implemented by: Place Services Team

Date of Review:


In response to a resolution of Council the City Strategy Unit at Parramatta City Council led a ‘Centres Review’ project to develop a new methodology to provide Councillors with a sound information base on which to allocate Better Neighbourhood Program (BNP) funding (approximately $1.4M annually).






Why do we need guidelines for investing in streetscape projects?


Page 2


What makes a good centre?


Page 2


What is in scope for this methodology


Page 2


Research & Consultation


Page 2


Analysing The Data and Scoring Centres


Page 4




Page 6



The Regional Context Of Centres In Parramatta


Page 7



Applying the Public Domain Guidelines


Page 9



Centres Hierarchy Diagram


Page 10



Parramatta LGA Local Shops

Page 11








1. Why do we need guidelines for investing in streetscape projects?

Understanding what we are trying to achieve in a centre makes is easier to decide where funding will be allocated. The Better Neighbourhood Program seeks to enhance neighbourhood centres as the focus for local communities….to deliver high quality, attractive, distinctive and viable neighbourhood centres, each with a sense of local identity.  Residents of Parramatta deserve access to a local centre that is accessible, attractive and functional: a place that is serviced by public transport and where walking and cycling is encouraged, and where an appropriate supply of time-restricted parking in available.  These guidelines help ensure that Councillors have up-to-date and accurate information about our centres, helping guide decision on when to intervene in a  centre, and what type of treatment will have the most impact.


Streetscape improvement projects are not always the most effective treatment for a centre in poor health. New paving and street furniture won’t necessarily improve viability of a centre. When applying this methodology consideration will be given to alternative strategies such as activation, changes to zoning and economic stimulus.  


2. What makes a good centre?

A good centre has inviting public spaces and an appealing mix of businesses and community facilities. It is well maintained and popular, accessible to people on foot, driving  and on public transport.  A good centre is perceived to be safe and is active and animated community meeting place.


3. What is in scope for this methodology?

This methodology is a tool for assessing the health of the twenty-six Town Centres, Village Centres and Neighbourhood Centres. Streetscape improvement projects for the Parramatta CBD are funded separately and and are not included in this methodology. Enterprise corridors and the sixteen centres identified as ‘Local Shops’ (less than 5 shops in one location see APPENDIX D – LOCAL CENTRES) are also death with separately.


4. Research & Consultation

The Research and consultation phase will be September – November each year, culminating with a workshop for Councillors in November, and a report to Council the following March with recommendations for streetscape improvement projects and allocation of funding accordingly.


The “Parramatta Centres Diagram” prepared by Council’s Urban Design Unit is the key reference tool for the Better Neighbourhood Program Guidelines. Descriptions for centres as outlined in the NSW Government ‘Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036’ were applied to Parramatta Centres as part of the 2011 ‘Centres Review






Let by the Place Services team, a cross functional team will undertake the following research and consultation:

1.   Data Collection:

o Update Better Neighbourhood Program expenditure since for current year

o Collect and map Graffiti incident reports (GRIP)

o Map Illegal rubbish dumping data

o Record retail vacancy rates for each centre (annual survey)

o Collect small centres cleansing surveys

o Review CRMs and Community Feedback (data mining and reporting)

o Review LEP and future growth scenarios

o Apply Walkscore to each centre (free web based software or more sophisticated alternative).


2.   Desktop Review

o Review of the descriptions of centres in the ‘Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036’, or a subsequent plan and changes of the  status on centres in Parramatta

o Review of best practice other Councils

o Current and proposed zoning

o DA activity in each centre

o Analysis of local and regional statistics including ABS and i.d.forecast

o Crime statistics

o Community / suburb profiles

o Retail and Planning Studies

3.   Site Inspections

o Annual Asset survey: site inspections of the 26 centres to gather data and report on the condition of the public assets in each centre (September -  Sept – November each year), conducted by the Operational Liaison Officers 2010

o Inspection and evaluation of completed Streetscape improvement works

4.   Consultation

o Surveys - Residents Panel and where appropriate place specific surveys

o Internal: Place Services, City Strategy, Capital Projects, Community Capacity Building & City Culture Tourism and Recreation Units, and the Executive Team.

o Councillors (workshop held annually as part of the Centres Review)



5. Analysing the data and scoring centres




1.   Last Upgrade / expenditure last 5 years

      Determined by:

·    Historical BNP expenditure

·    Streetscape improvements funded / co-funded through external sources

2.   High Use

·    Pedestrian counts (do not have the technology for this)

·    Anecdotal evidence

·    Car park usage

·    Bicycle rack usage

·    Vacancy rate (annual survey by place managers)

3.   State of Public Assets

      Determined by:

·    OLO annual asset survey

·    Complaints and resident / business owner requests for action

4.   Future Growth

      Determined by;

·    comparison with existing and proposed LEP

·    transport infrastructure


5.   Community Feedback

      Determined by;

·    Community Surveys

·    Place based consultation

·    Residents Panel

·    CRM data mining

·    Complaints and resident / business owner requests for action

·    Crime statistics  and  perceptions of public safety

Table One

Core Filters key




Core Filters



What was the centre last upgraded?




< 3 years

3-5  years

6+ years

Data collected since 2001.











How busy is the Centre?








<1000 people per day


2500 people per day


>5,000 people per day


This measure will be useful over time in measuring trends. For accurate numbers investment in automated people counting technology required.


These criteria can be used in conjunction with vacancy rates and other economic data.






What is the condition of the public assets?







Data gathered through annual asset survey and information available through Civil infrastructure section.










Future Growth






None projected


Significant increase

Projections from Sydney Metropolitan Plan 2036 and the Parramatta Draft LEP.









Community Feedback








·    * Community Feedback weighted higher than other criteria.

·    Analysis of CRMs

·    Analysis of Residents Panel Surveys

·    Councillor feedback





8 *


Moderating filters

These relate specifically to timing and annual review. The availability of a significant grant, VPAs, public partnerships, significant development may trigger or delay PCC investment in centres or other opportunities to leverage external funding.

a.   External sources of funding or external investment (private or DoH, RTA, DoP for example) Unexpected and significant investment in social or environmental assets by external organisations, raid increase in Development proposals / approvals for new businesses in the centre.

b.   Internal sources of funding (Roads, new or upgraded community assets such as libraries, community centres and parks)

c.   Equity: an equitable approach to the allocation of streetscape improvement projects across the LGA.

d.   Review annually as part of the budget process for Councillors, checking current status of priorities



The scores provide a mechanism to take the pulse of a centre – a high score indicates that further investigation is required to determine the appropriate ‘treatment’ to bring a centre to good health. Moderating filters (listed above a - d) are also considered as these may override either low or high scores.


Table Two – Scoring

00 – 06


Low scores. Centre is in good ‘health’ and increases residential density not expected.

07 – 11


Moderate score in 2 or more filters. Maintenance and minor works required.

12 – 16


High scores in 2 or more filters. Consider for streetscape improvement project.

 17 – 20+


High scores in 3 or more filters – Centre requires intervention which may include streetscape improvement projects.



6. Implementation

Writing of the annual project plan and set-up of the cross functional team is the responsibility of the Place Services Team. Key partners are the Capital Projects Team and the Urban Design Unit. At the completion of the data collection and analysis phase, Councillors will be invited to a workshop to discuss the findings and make recommendations for funding streetscape improvement projects.



Land Use Planning

Following extensive consultation Parramatta City Council submitted the new LEP to the Department of Planning for consideration. It is expected that the LEP will be gazetted in the first half of 2010.


The LEP has significant impact on some of or centres, particularly those where the plan is to increase densification.


SYDNEY METROPOLITAN PLAN 2036  – Hierarchy of Centres

Regional Centres

Regional cities are a core consideration of the Metropolitan Plan in creating a series of connected cities. Three Regional cities are identified in the Metropolitan Plan:

-     Parramatta, Sydney’s second CBD which serves Western Sydney

-     Liverpool which serves south western Sydney and

-     Penrith, which serves outer Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

Regional Cities contain a full range of business, government, health, retail, cultural, entertainment and recreational activities and have a walking catchment of 2km radius. Parramatta is Sydney’s most mature Regional City and operates as its second CBD.


Town Centres

A Town Centre is a large group of shops and services, with a mix of uses and good links with the surrounding neighbourhood. It provides the focus for a large residential population. At PCC we map the catchment for a Town Centre at 800m radius. Town Centres in Parramatta are: Granville (T1), Westmead (T2) and Epping (T3).


Village Centres

A village is a group of shops and services for daily shopping, with a mix of uses and good links with the surrounding neighbourhood.


Villages comprise retail premises and services such as supermarkets, butchers, banks, hairdressers, cafes, restaurants, and take away food shops, as well as child care centres and schools. Villages have a walking catchment radius of approximately 400-600 metres. Villages in the City of Parramatta are: Guildford Town Centre (V1), Harris Park (V2), Ermington (V3), Carlingford Station Centre (V4), Waratah Centres Telopea (V5), Dundas Stations Centre (V6), Winston Hills Mall (V7), Delwood South Granville (V8) Woolworths Centre Granville (V9), Merrylands Station Centre (V10) and Brodie Street Rydalmere (V11).


Neighbourhood Centres

A Neighbourhood Centre is the smallest of the recognised type in the Metropolitan Plan hierarchy. Neighbourhood Centres have a walking catchment radius of 400 metres.


Neighbourhood Centres usually comprise 10 or more shops and services, such as a corner shop, chemist, bottle shop, convenience store, café and a newsagent. Neighbourhood Centres in Parramatta are: Constitution Hill (N1), Carlingford Shopping Centre (N2), Telopea Station Centre (N3), Kleins Road Northmead (N4), The Chisholm Centre Winston Hills (N5), Toongabbie shops (N6), Collett Park (N7), Bungaree Road Toongabbie (N8) Mobbs lane Carlingford (N9), Excelsior & Constance Streets Granville (N10), Victoria & park roads Rydalmere (N11) and Iron Street North Parramatta (N12). At Parramatta and additional category ‘Local Shops’ is used for very small ‘centres’ with 5 or less shops.


Local Shops

This category is applied at Parramatta to define places with less than 5 shops, and generally not labelled as a ‘centre’. Local shops in Parramatta are: Bartlett Street shops Ermington (L1), Bells Road shops Oatlands (L2), Blaxcell Street shops South Granville (L3), Excelsior & Farnell Street shops Granville (L4), Gibbons Road shops Oatlands (L5), Lomond Crescent shops Winston Hills (L6), Midson Road shops Epping (L7), Pendle Hill shops (L8), Picasso shops Toongabbie (L9), Rebecca

Parade shops Winston Hills (L10), Station Road shops Toongabbie (L11), Tintern Avenue shops Telopea (L12), Wentworthville shops (L13), Wentworthville Station  shops (L14), Windsor Road shops Northmead (L15) and Yates Avenue shops Dundas (L16)


Source: NSW Government Metropolitan Plan for Sydney 2036


Centres across the border

Parramatta is not an island many residents of the City will travel to nearby centres in other LGAs. For example, the Winston Hills mall will attract a significant number of visitors from the Hills district, and residents of Chester Hill would travel to the Villawood Shopping centre or Bass Hill Plaza across the LGA boundary.


Applying the Public Domain Guidelines

In Australian cities over 70% of the public domain is streets. Footpaths and small urban squares create vital areas for social contact as well as providing access to services.


A high quality public domain creates a memorable image of a place and a strong identity for centres. Public Domain Guidelines are guidelines that specify the materials and layout for streetscape elements including footpaths, pavement, lighting, street trees, street furniture, kerb ramps, lanes, bollards. 


The review is being undertaken because it is over 10 years since the first standard set of guidelines were developed for Parramatta.


The aim is:

·    For a consistent approach throughout Parramatta.


·    There will be significant financial benefits from a standardised approach from points of view of, purchasing, maintenance and managing the asset base.


·    To well define the places and to provide good amenity as seating, shade, shelter, lighting, signage and accessible kerb ramps.


·    To ensure that the pedestrian space is sufficient to accommodate the pedestrian volumes and that parking and bicycles are well integrated with the street.


·    Overall this will enable the funds to go further and an improved appearance and quality for the Parramatta’s centres.



Centres Hierarchy diagram (to be inserted)



Parramatta LGA Local Shops (Centres with 5 or less shops).

Not assessed under the Better Neighbourhood Program Guidelines



Bartlett Street Shops Ermington


Bells Road Shops, Oatlands


Blaxcell Street Shops South Granville


Excelsior & Farnell Street shops, Granville


Gibbons Road shops, Oatlands


Lomond Crescent shops, Winston Hills


Midson Road shops, Epping


Pendle Hill shops


Picasso shops, Toongabbie


Rebecca parade shops, Winston Hills


Station Road shops Toongabbie


Tintern Avenue shops, Telopea


Wentworthville shops


Wentworthville Station shops


Windsor Road shops


Yates Avenue shops Dundas